Mistake in Criminal Record of Dezirae Sheldon's Mother

By Steph Machado

Published 03/26 2014 08:00PM

Updated 03/26 2014 08:22PM

MONTPELIER - Lawmakers have found an error in Sandra Eastman's criminal record.

Eastman is the mother of two-year-old Dezirae Sheldon, the Poultney toddler killed last month. The senate panel charged with looking into child protection laws pulled Eastman's record from Rutland County Superior Court and discovered a clerical error.

State Senator Dick Sears (D-Bennington), co-chair of the child protection panel, says Eastman's 2008 conviction for having sex with a child was entered into a computer system incorrectly. In a plea agreement, she was convicted of Lewd & Lascivious Conduct with a child, but the records only say Lewd & Lascivious Conduct--a much lesser charge without the addition of the child. She was supposed to be a lifetime registrant of the sex offender list, but does not appear on the online registry. 

According to the court records, Eastman was 24 at the time and was pregnant with a 15-year-old boy's child.

"I don't know if we can ever determine whether it would've changed everything," said Sen. Dick Sears. "But it does lead you to questions about the system and how the system operates. Are there other mistakes, how many other mistakes are out there?"

The senate panel plans to ask the full senate for a legislative subpoena to get all confidential documents about the case from DCF.

Eastman is not a suspect in Dezirae's death. Her husband Dennis Duby was charged with 1st degree murder in the case.

However, senators are questioning why Dezirae was returned to the home after Eastman's 2013 conviction for breaking the little girl's legs.

This was the third meeting of the child protection panel. It meets on Wednesdays at the Statehouse.

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